At last count, more than 22 million web domains were using PHP. But they’re not all using it as well or as creatively as they could be. That’s where PHP Hacks comes in.
This book’s been crafted to help you bring best practices into all your PHP scripts. Author Jack Herrington sees the same problems in too many PHP apps: poor database design and use; code embedded directly on pages; processing during page builds; inadequate security; and so forth. So he’s provided techniques and code samples to help you avoid those problems.
Best practices aside, this book’s just plain useful. Up front, there’s a full chapter of web design techniques: building those popular "breadcrumb trails," creating skinnable interfaces, adding tabs to your web interface, sending HTML mail and IM messages, and plenty more. You’ll create SVG graphics and use PHP’s image toolkit to generate graphs.
There’s an extensive collection of database and XML techniques: from designing better SQL schema to scraping web pages and searching Word documents. There are 16 great application design ideas, from encrypting passwords to tracking where your guests are coming from. There’s a tip on simplifying AJAX implementation. There’s a full chapter on using patterns. (And, to make up for that, there’s fun stuff like creating custom Google maps and checking Half-Life servers.)
Of course you can use PHP Hacks as a cookbook. But you can also use it as a launch pad for all sorts of creative coding. Herrington’s crafted his techniques to trigger inspiration: in fact, many have "hacking the hack" sections suggesting cool tweaks. Simply put, if you’re an experienced PHP programmer, this book will be a treat. Bill Camarda, from the March 2006 Read Only